LEE COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Music Educators Association has named Gretchen Wahlberg as the 2011 FMEA Music Educator of the Year.

Gretchen Wahlberg is a member of the staff at Veterans Park Academy for the Arts in Lehigh Acres.  Her school administrative team remarks, “Our music program is enriched because we have a fabulous teacher like Gretchen.”

Dr. James W. Browder, Lee County Schools Superintendent, states, “She demonstrates a giving and generous attitude and is an intelligent, capable, dedicated, and personable educator.” 

National Board Certified Teacher, Ms. Wahlberg completed Bachelors and Masters Degrees in music education from FSU in 1976 and later completed her PH.D coursework from FSU as well.  After completing her degrees, she entered an elementary music room for the first time and has been blessing Florida children with the gift of music for decades.

Parents and students are grateful to have Ms. Wahlberg as a music teacher.  Sharon Rooks, a colleague and parent of students, states, “I have been fortunate to be a student of Ms. Wahlberg’s, a mother of students in her class, and now a teacher along side of her.  She has brought so much energy and a love for music and learning to our school.  She puts heart and soul into all of her lessons.  She teaches songs that educate and inspire.  She produces performances and shows that engage not only the students, but the audience as well.  She pulls our school together using music to build school spirit and pride.”

The FMEA Awards and Recognition Program is one of the more visible ways in which FMEA can recognize those who make outstanding contributions to music education throughout the state.  The program strives to identify and honor these esteemed individuals from throughout the state of Florida.  The FMEA Music Educator of the Year is awarded annually to the music educator who has served his/her students, community, and profession in an exemplary manner. This award recognizes outstanding merit in music teaching or music administration.